Brent Villasenor’s gem sends Providence back to state title game

SHARE Brent Villasenor’s gem sends Providence back to state title game

Providence is back in the state title game.

Brent Villasenor pitched a complete-game shutout to lead the Celtics to a 1-0 win over Oak Park-River Forest in the second Class 4A state semifinal at Silver Cross Field in Joliet Friday.

Villasenor out-dueled Oak Park junior Hank Christie, who pitched six innings and allowed just one run and two hits.

“In the first couple innings I could see his style was a lot like mine,” said Villasenor. “I knew there weren’t going to be a lot of runs.”

Villasenor (9-3) allowed just two hits, struck out seven and walked two.

Providence’s Zach Pych was hit by a pitch to start the fifth inning. Jackson Dvorak sacrificed Pych to second and then ninth hitter Matt Diehl ripped a double into the gap in right center to bring home the game’s only run.

“It was a great baseball game,” said Providence coach Mark Smith. “Well-pitched on both sides and well defended on both sides. It came down to one big play and Diehl had it.”

Providence (30-8) will face Mount Carmel in the state title game Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Caravan beat the Celtics twice this season: 3-1 and 2-1.

“We know (Mount Carmel) is the most talented team in Illinois,” said Smith. “There is no doubt about it on paper. You just have to be the best team that day.”

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